On the Value of Silence

silenceI have heard recently about noise pollution and how it is disrupting wildlife habitats, among other things. Traditionally, human beings were not uncomfortable with silence. In fact, in the days of the hunters and gatherers, it was necessary. If a person could not hold their tongue, they might scare away the fish or the deer. Silence was necessary for the very survival of the human race.

I have learned that many religions take a vow of silence in order to think deeply and without interruption about spiritual things. We take “moments of silence” as a sign of respect.  In music, the “rests” are often as important to the musical composition as are the notes. In speech a “pause for effect” might engage the listener more effectively.

I recall mentioning to my pastor how I believed “silence” should be used more often in our services. In my Christian bible, there is a verse that says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

I am not not trying to convert anyone. My point is that I feel like we gain a lot by falling silent. When we are always talking, we often fail to listen. You may wonder what there is to listen to when we become silent. It is a mystery to me even, but when we listen, the Universe speaks.

It is as if wisdom whispers in our ears. This is so crucial. Our own thoughts often arise from emotion and are often unreliable. But the gentle voice of wisdom is undeniably transcendent to our own regular thoughts.

I encourage you to embrace silence. Treat it as a welcome guest.

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